To all our swimmers, coaches and clubs. This has been a memorable year of achievements that has been built on 4 years of long hours logged in the pool by our swimmers and coaches as well as our volunteers who have given so much to move BC Swimming forward.
This past couple of months have been one of the most exciting times for our sport. Watching the achievements of our Olympians was outstanding. Huge congratulations to our medalists Hillary and Emily along with amazing performances by all our BC swimmers who represented us in Rio. Capping off the summer watching our Paralympians represent our province and country was equally as exciting. The perseverance and tenacity of all of our athletes is amazing to witness and made us all feel very proud to be a Canadian. Some heartfelt congratulations to all our athletes and coaches representing BC Swimming on National and Junior Tour Teams this past year as well.
In the past 4 years the organization has continued to grow and prosper. Swim BC has continued to expand both programming and funding support to our Swimmers, Coaches and Volunteers. Swim BC also purchased I Can Swim which continues to grow and solidify into the self generating funding model we had envisioned. In the past cycle we have also seen the amalgamation of the BC Swim Officials Association into our Officials Advisory Committee. The work that this group of volunteers has been able to achieve in such a short period of time has been remarkable and we look forward to continued growth of our official’s family in the coming year.
On the operational side of the organization we have seen a number of staffing changes in the past cycle which has periodically challenged our delivery. This has tasked Swim BC to adapt and grow from within. I am pleased to announce Swim BC will be starting this new season off with a full staff compliment. Mike Flegel had been appointed Performance Director and Carrie Matheson the Program Director position on a full-time basis. Both have shown a great deal of initiative in taking on these responsibilities mid stream this past season and their passion for BC Swimming and extensive knowledge of the organization in their previous roles will be a great asset for Swim BC. Complimenting Mike and Carrie’s roles we have recently filled the Regional Technical Coach position. Pete Wilkins, former KAJ Head Coach and NCI Graduate will be completing this very strong delivery program. Please help me welcome each of them into their new roles and you can look forward to each of them getting in touch with your club on how they can assist in your athlete development needs. Further changes to the office include Denise Roman, who took over for Shelagh’s maternity leave this past year, and has been appointed the Office Manager position on a full-time basis. I would like to both welcome Denise to her permanent position and thank Shelagh for many dedicated years with Swim BC. Chad Webb continues to oversee your coach development needs and has recently been appointed Level 3 Master Learning Facilitator, a huge benefit to Swim BC and our clubs.
Our directors remain tireless in a constantly changing sport climate. There countless hours of volunteer time to the Sport of Swimming behind the scenes does not go un-noticed. A huge thank-you to all our Directors and to Jerome Beauchamp, our President, who has been challenged in a number of ways in the past 12 months and continues to go above and beyond to lead and protect the society.
Accountability to our membership and stakeholders continues to grow and evolve and now that framework will begin to affect how each of our clubs operates in the coming months. Swim BC has invested in its volunteers through a number of club initiatives including the club excellence and governance workshops. Over the next number of months our Clubs must also increase their accountability frameworks to their members in these ever changing times. Compliance to a new BC Society Act is taking effect, expanded Sport Branch policies as well as further screening of Coaches and Volunteers are just a few deliverables Swim BC has been grooming its members for in the past number of years. Strong governance through good skill based club director recruiting and coach professional development opportunities remains the best strategy for clubs succeed in these ever changing times.
Finally, a huge thank-you to the Province of BC for their continued financial investment as well as ViaSport and the Canadian Sport Institute for their support and resources over the past past 4 years. We look forward continuing a strong relationship with all of our stakeholders and Swimming Canada as we start preparing and planning for 2020 and all the team opportunities leading up to it.
To Team Aquatic Supplies, Speedo and Esquire, our devoted Sponsors, you continue to be a pillar of support for both Swim BC and all our members. We are happy the you have been a part of our family for all these years and look forward to continuing partnerships in the coming ones.
Swim BC is every Swimmer, Coach and Club Volunteer. Congratulations to each of you for our achievements this past year!
Mark J. Schuett
Executive Director – Swim BC